Truckee Canal

The Truckee Canal (Canal) is owned by the United States and administered by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Canal is operated and maintained by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) as part of the Newlands Project, one of Reclamation’s oldest projects. Formally known as the Truckee-Carson Project, the Newlands Project was constructed beginning in 1903 and provides irrigation water from the Truckee and Carson rivers to the lower Carson Valley near Fallon and bench lands near Fernley, Nevada.

Historical photo of Derby Dam
Historic photo of Derby Diversion Dam pre-2020

The Canal originates at Derby Diversion Dam on the Truckee River, approximately 20 miles east of Reno, Nevada, running 31 miles and ending at Lahontan Reservoir. The Canal provides water for more than 50,000 acres of farmland, wildlife, and communities, and is essential for reliable water supply to the Newlands Project.

On January 5, 2008, a Canal breach occurred resulting in an uncontrolled water release that caused flooding and damage to 590 properties in the City of Fernley. TCID repaired the breach in February 2008, and the Canal reopened in March 2008. Following the January 2008 Canal breach, Reclamation completed several risk assessments that identified areas requiring repair and maintenance to address safety concerns. Until long-term repairs are made, the Canal is operated at a stage (water surface elevation) that complies with short-term risk reduction measures.

Picture where the canal was breached
Breach of the Truckee Canal in January 2008

Following the January 2008 Canal breach and in accordance with the 1996 operation and maintenance contract with TCID, the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) requested Reclamation evaluate the Canal and complete a design, plans, and specifications to conduct extraordinary maintenance and reduce the risk of future failure. In May 2022, the Department of the Interior announced over $240 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to repair aging infrastructure including $35 million for Phase 1 of the Truckee Canal Public Safety Improvement Project.

Truckee Canal Public Safety Improvement Project

Extraordinary maintenance to restore the safe, long-term operation of the Truckee Canal began in the Fall 2022. Phase 1 of the project includes:

  • Lining ~ 3.5 miles of the Canal in the highest risk area (from approximately 1,000 linear feet (LF) downstream/southeast of Stock Lane to approximately 500 LF upstream/west of Sunflower Lane) with a geomembrane and concrete liner
  • Demolition and reconstruction of the existing Fernley Check Structure with design improvements to modernize the structure including ability to manage ice flows within the Canal as well as automation capability
  • Modifications to the Bango Check Structure including replacing the existing radial gate and stoplogs with three radial gates and adding automation capability

Map of phase 1 maintenance

Reclamation awarded a contract to conduct Phase 1 construction on August 16, 2022, to Central Environmental, Inc. based in Anchorage, Alaska. Reclamation’s goal is to improve the structural integrity of the Canal and appurtenant structures to reduce the public safety risk of a Canal breach. Completion of Phase 1 is expected to take about 18 months. The Canal will be dewatered for a portion of the construction period and no water deliveries will be made from the Truckee Canal during the 2023 irrigation season, through October 2023. Canal water operations will commence for the 2024 irrigation season.

Additional Information



For More Information

For more information on the Truckee Canal Public Safety Improvement Project – Phase 1, contact Jason Villarreal at 775-884-8391 or

Last Updated: 8/18/23